I fell victim to a classic male syndrome last Thursday: I didn’t want to ask for help finding my way to someplace.
Now, in my defense, I had input the destination on my iPhone and carefully followed the message prompts to the address. Unfortunately, the address turned out to be a private residence and not the business I was looking for. Later, the people at my destination explained that I was not the first person to be led to the wrong location by a map app. They also noted that the other people had then called the company for directions.
That’s what I should have done; but, no, I was determined to find the place on my own. So I spent the next half-hour becoming more and more hopelessly lost. Luckily, I didn’t have an appointment at a fixed time, or I would have compounded my error by being inexcusably late. Finally, I broke down, pulled over to the side of the road, and called.
I was on Interstate 84 heading east at exit 41 I explained. “Turn around, get on 84 going west and call us after you get off on exit 39.” I pulled aside once I was on exit 39 and called again. In my earlier wanderings, I had actually been right there at exit 39 but turned left when I should have turned right. My hubris tripped me up, but at least now I was heading in the right direction and had my client’s (not my phone’s) reassuring voice guiding me to my destination. A few minutes later I arrived.
My lesson: Call as soon as something is amiss. Cell phone directions are great when they work and that cheery voice has navigated me efficiently and correctly to numerous destinations. But when it fails, I need to swallow my pride, pull over, and call right away. I don’t even think about trying to correct the problem while driving, not even with Siri. That’s a fast way to have an accident. Better yet, call your destination ahead of time and get directions straight from the source.
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About the author
Since 2004, Peter Post has tackled readers' questions in The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly business etiquette advice column, Etiquette at Work. Post is the co-author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business" and conducts business etiquette seminars across the country. In October 2003 his book "Essential Manners For Men" was released and quickly became a New York Times best seller. He is also the author of "Essential Manners for Couples," "Playing Through–A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf," and co-author of "A Wedding Like No Other." Post is Emily Post's great-grandson. His media appearances include "CBS Sunday Morning," CBS's "The Early Show," NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and "Fox News."